Friday was opening night in Claremore, where the city is dedicated its brand-new Performing Arts Center.â€ Beauty and the Beast" was the show, but as News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, the building itself is a showpiece.
Ruby Quinn spent a good part of her youth in Claremore and when she came back to take the job as Executive Director of the Robson Performing Arts Center, she never imagined this. "Who knew? I didn't expect this, this was truly amazing. Even without the walls up, I knew this was something to be reckoned.â€
Itâ€™s a sparkling, $16-million, state-of-the-art facility. And we're betting your high-school auditorium didn't look like this. "You'd definitely be hard-pressed even as far as colleges and things have a center just as amazing as this. We're truly, truly lucky."
It's a beauty and beastly only in terms of size. 75-feet tall, sitting 1,100 patrons. And with the best facility, they want the best shows. Broadway shows? They say they're ready. â€œIt can house a bus and truck tour, Broadway touring company coming in, without a problem."
Quinn says the architect was aiming for a timeless quality. It has definite art-deco flair, but it has a modern feel too. â€œI hope that years from now, they look at it and they don't know exactly when it was built. You know you can go by some buildings and say, oh that was built in 1974."
The primary donors are Ludmila and Frank Robson, who Quinn says always had a dream of creating something for the school kids of Claremore. â€œTheyâ€™d always talked about the fact that they needed a place for them and that sometimes people give to universities more easily and more freely and that, wouldn't it be nice to be able to give to the public schools.â€
Clearly they've given it and then some.